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Kyrgyzstan

Yearbook 1996

Kyrgyzstan. In February, President Askar Akaiev won a referendum on 94.5% of the votes on a supplement to the country's constitution that gives him greater power.

Prime Minister Apas Jumagulov implemented several changes in the government According to Countryaah.com, and appointed Abdiyaz Pair Tajev as Deputy Prime Minister.

An agreement was signed on enhanced cooperation according to the EU model with Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Belarus.

1996 Kyrgyzstan

In February 1996, Akayev printed a referendum on constitutional amendments intended to give him increased power. The proposal was adopted by a large majority. People in opposition to the government as critical journalists were subjected to persecution, jailed on allegations of defamation and mistreated. Conditions sharply criticized by Amnesty International in the organization's 1997 report.

During 1997, the country's role in the regional drug trade changed from merely being a transit country to housing an increasing number of drug manufacturing laboratories.

In December 1998, the entire government resigned after Akayev accused it of incompetence and of being unable to stimulate economic growth. Acc. the government's own figures saw economic growth in 1998 of 1.7%, making the country one of the only former Soviet republics that had not experienced any real economic decline this year. Still, the economy was plagued by high inflation, the current account deficit and the weakening of the country's currency. This, along with criticism from the President and the Security Council, prompted Prime Minister Kubanychbek Zhumaliyev and his entire government to resign.

Akayev appointed Zhumabek Ibraimov as new prime minister, but he died of cancer on April 4, 1999. He was replaced on the 12th of the same month by the post of Amangeldy Mursadykovich Muraliyev. Muraliyev was then 52 years old and had been governor of the Osh region of the country's southern part.

The government resigned overall in December after Akayev accused it of incompetence and of not stimulating the faltering economy. At the February-March 2000 parliamentary elections, the Communist Party became the largest, followed by the Union of Democratic Forces. International observers and members of the Kyrgyz Human Rights Commission were forced to leave the country after protesting the arrest of MP Feliks Kulov, which aimed to impede his participation in the second round of elections. Although Kulov was released in August, he was not allowed to stand for the October presidential election. In both cases, his candidacy was officially withheld because he did not pass a test in Kyrgyz,

In September 2001, the government authorized the creation of a North American airbase at Manas Airport in Bishkek. The rationale was that this would contribute to the fight against Islamic fundamentalism. On similar grounds, in September 2003, Akayev granted Russia permission to establish a military base in Kant, 30 km from Manas.

2002 was marked by a growing political repression: opposition leader Azimbek Beknazaror was jailed, Kulov was sentenced to 10 years in prison and the number of people killed during the popular protests increased. Criticism from international organizations intensified and Akayev became increasingly isolated.

According to observers, Akayev uses the fight against terrorism as a pretext for strengthening the military, which is his last bastion. In June 2003, Parliament passed a law granting the President immunity for life. This could pave the way for him to voluntarily withdraw from the presidential post.

In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Kyrgyzstan to inaugurate a Russian air base near Kant, and thus also near Bishkek and the US air base. Putin was accompanied by his defense minister Sergei Ivanov and his foreign minister Igor Ivanov.

In January 2004, the opposition announced the formation of a coalition to challenge the faithful parties in the 2005 elections.

In May, Colonel Chynybek Aliyev was killed by 20 shots while waiting in his car for red light in the capital Bishkek. He was the head of an anti-corruption unit, led the fight against organized crime, and had conducted investigations into assassins.

 

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